For fans of Jeff Buckley, Grace is an essential read. This graphic novel details his early years getting started in the music business, leading to his meteoric rise to stardom and his eventual death. He was a fascinating guy filled with passion and so much drive that it left him in doubt about his future as a musician. I’ve been a fan of Buckley since college, making this a real treat to read. I suggest playing his album Grace in the background as you read through the final years of Buckley’s life.
Buckley’s story is an inspiring tale of musicianship. He was an artist who refused to compromise his artistic vision when many wanted his focus to be on selling records quickly. He took his time, wrote his songs, and the world came around to understanding his genius. I didn’t know a lot about his life and seeing those early details explains a lot about his music. It’s easy to forget his album Grace was only three years old when he died. He was still new to the scene and seeing his passion illustrated so vividly shows how much more he could have given to the world.
The art style combines multiple forms, switching between realism and a cartoon feel. At times, we get hyper-realistic full page panels that beautifully illustrate the strong emotions that controlled his life. The lack of color makes the focus on Buckley himself and not on the settings.
Overall, Grace is a wonderful tribute to an extremely talented musician. Take it as a guide to one of modern music’s lost talents and revel in a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create genius.
NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.
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